If you are a senior citizen and do not have health insurance, the thought of having to go to an emergency room in case of illness may be troubling you. You should have planned for your retirement but if you did not include the details of having Health Insurance after you retire, you are at the mercy of the ER and without coverage you may even have to forego treatment. For many people in the US, health care costs often result in bankruptcy even when they have insurance because not all illnesses are covered by the policy. When it can happen to the people who have insurance, it can be a nightmare for those who do not have it.
In recent months, the issue of health insurance for senior citizens has received extraordinary coverage and attention in the US because of President Obama’s plan to have universal health care available to all citizens. This measure from the Obama administration has drawn critics and supporters alike and the battle lines are drawn in an increasingly bitter battle. The issue at stake is whether there should be a public option that would enable the senior citizens access to health care provided for by the government. The public option does not guarantee free coverage but includes an option for the employers and the government to provide for an eventuality.
Senior citizens need healthcare and they need it more than the other age groups as they need access to quality medical assistance because of their advancing age that makes them vulnerable to disease and disability. It is for this reason that medical care in many countries is free for senior citizens and they have access to the best medical facilities. Likewise, the US should also have a health care system that provides for its senior citizens and ensures that they get proper treatment for their various ailments.
In the context of the baby boomers retiring in large numbers and without the proper tools for some of them to plan adequately for their retirement and health care, there should be a comprehensive plan for access to medical coverage by the insurance companies as well as the government. There are several insurance companies that have special plans for senior citizens as they allow for the coverage with all facilities provided for them. However, there are other companies that do not encourage coverage for senior citizens on the grounds that they are a high risk category and hence the premiums do not justify coverage. There are some commentators who call for an old age premium to be placed on the coverage plan so that senior citizens can get coverage at the rates provided by the insurers, albeit with a premium.
The point that is being made here is that senior citizens better plan for their retirement when they are in their forties and fifties so that they do not become a burden on their children and that they retain coverage beyond retirement and after they are well into their sixties.
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Helping Hands Surgical Care Selects Eight Uninsured Nevadans to Receive no-cost surgeries on Second Annual Charity Surgery Day
WHAT: Eight uninsured Nevadans suffering from a variety of conditions will receive surgeries at no cost from Helping Hands Surgical Care (HHSC), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization founded by Dr. Kevin Petersen and his wife, Kelly Petersen, who also serves as HHSC’s unpaid executive director. The surgeries will be performed by Dr. Petersen and other Las Vegas surgeons, with the assistance from the medical staff at Valley View Surgery Center – all of whom are volunteering their services for the day. A medical advisory board screened the applications to select patients to receive no cost surgeries. HHSC’s mission is to fund and facilitate surgeries for uninsured and underinsured Nevadans without the means to pay for medically necessary surgeries.
WHEN: CHARITY SURGERY DAY – HELPING HANDS SURGICAL CARE
November 13, 2012
Surgeries scheduled on the hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (First arrivals starting at 8 a.m.)
Patients and doctors are available to media prior to or on surgery day.
WHERE: Valley View Surgery Center
1330 S. Valley View Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Jeffery Silverman, 52, Hernia repair, mesh removal
Silverman had an initial hernia repair in 2009 and has been in constant pain ever since. With very little money left in the bank and no insurance, he is embarrassed to ask for help, but grateful Dr. Petersen is willing to remove the mesh that was used in his initial surgery and repair it again without mesh. He has formed a large support group on Facebook comprised of people around the country suffering from the same condition, and he is grateful to be chosen for free surgery. He can’t wait to reclaim his life.
Donald Sykes, 51, Umbilical hernia repair
Sykes is minister of Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ, married with four children and eight grandchildren. He had insurance at one point but lost it due to his inability to keep up with the payments. Sykes has suffered from his hernia condition for nine years and is in considerable pain. He is grateful that the pain will be gone soon, that his life will be extended and the hernia will no longer be visible through his clothing.
Mariana Flores, 26, Umbilical hernia repair
Flores is married with two sons, ages 2 and 7. She is excited she will be able to help her sons and be active again. She feels she has not been a good mother since her mobility has been so limited by excessive pain. In fact, she has not been able to clean her home. She is so grateful she was chosen to receive charity surgery so she can become a better mother and wife and not dependent on others.
Mark Babcock, 54, Umbilical and Right inguinal hernia
Babcock, who is single with three children, is unable to work because of his medical condition. He currently lives with a friend free of charge. He has been to the emergency room twice and was turned away both times because the surgery to cure his condition is considered elective. He is looking forward to regaining the confidence he has lost over the last seven years as he has struggled with debilitating pain. He is extremely thankful to finally receive the help he needs to get back his life.
Mario Zaccone, 49, Right inguinal hernia
Zaccone has suffered from his hernia for five years and is unemployed because of his inability to work due to pain. Previously, he worked in the food industry where he was required to lift, which is impossible for him now given his current condition. He is single with four children and lives with his mother because of his inability to provide for his children and care for himself. He is extremely grateful for HHSC and looks forward to beginning his life again.
Paul Labarre, 42, Umbilical hernia repair
Labarre is a veteran construction worker who with specific skills in flooring and laying carpet. He is unable to work due to his hernia and has lost his home and insurance. He currently lives with his parents and is looking forward to being healthy again and passing a physical so he can go back to work and provide for his family.
Michael Haws, 53, Left inguinal hernia repair
Haws has worked for years in the construction and oil industries. He has not been able to lift due to his hernia condition. Unable to provide for himself, he has been forced to move in with his brother. His current situation has had a major effect on his self-esteem, and he feels drained both physically and emotionally. He is thrilled to be chosen and looks forward to a bright future.
Linda Willis, 59, Trigger finger
Willis has been without medical insurance since she lost her job several years ago. Right-handed, she has not been able to do anything with her right hand for a long time. This includes preparing food, writing and simple daily tasks. Willis has been forced to move in with her daughter for both financial support and assistance with her daily care. She is excited about the future and the possibility of regaining some independence. She particularly looks forward to resuming things she enjoys, including sewing and refinishing furniture.
Dr. Kevin C. Petersen, General Surgeon
Dr. Bishr Hijazi, Hand Surgeon
Dr. Jon Darwin Halling, Anesthesiologist
Dr. Hosny Habashy, Anesthesiologist
The Las Vegas community is coming together to support the efforts of HHSC.
• Valley View Surgery Center is donating the use of the one operating room for an entire day.
• The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is providing coffee and breakfast for the physicians and medical staff (up to 35 people) on surgery day.
About Helping Hands Surgical Care
Helping Hands Surgical Care is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to fund and facilitate surgeries for uninsured and underinsured individuals without the means to pay for medically necessary, quality of life surgeries. Founded by Dr. Kevin Petersen of Las Vegas, Nevada based No Insurance Surgery, Helping Hands Surgical Care values the health and well-being of each individual regardless of their ability to pay. The organization is guided by its focus on the physician-patient relationship and its dedication to transforming and improving the lives of those it serves. For more information, visit www.HelpingHandsSurgicalCare.com or call 702-242-5393.
Renown Health is committed to providing media with the latest news and events, national health trends and observances. Subject matter experts are available to discuss the following topics. Please contact Dan Davis at 775-982-6370 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an interview. Photos and video can also be made available.
INSIDE RENOWN HEALTH
• Hand Foot and Mouth Disease – During August, Washoe County School District and the Washoe County Health District issued warnings to parents of school children about hand, foot and mouth disease. A Renown Health pediatrician is available to answer questions about the disease and to suggest ways to prevent its spread.
• FastTrack ERs – The Emergency Rooms (ERs) at Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center now have the region’s first and only FastTrack ERs. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the system is designed to treat patients who need immediate attention for small emergencies including minor cuts and burns, allergic reactions and other minor injuries. A Renown Health representative is available to discuss how FastTrack ER will help improve a patient’s ER experience.
• Pathway to Excellence® – Both Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center have been recognized as the first two Pathway to Excellence® hospitals in Nevada by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. This award honors a work environment designed to improve overall nursing satisfaction and retention of quality nursing staff. A Renown Health representative is available to discuss what this honor means for patient care.
NATIONAL TRENDS LOCALIZED
• Digital Accountability to Get Healthy – Getting exercise, eating right and losing weight always seems to be a challenge. Already connected to the digital world, people have turned to using social media tools and platforms to achieve their health goals. Renown Health has Healthy Tracks, an online program, to encourage employees to get screenings, exercise and eat nutritiously. A representative can speak on the benefits of digital accountability and how community members can become part of the Healthy Tracks challenge.
• Swallowing foreign objects – Each year, more than 100,000 cases of kids swallowing foreign objects are reported in the United States. Sometimes, the swallowed object may not harm a child at all. Other times, a doctor’s visit may be necessary. A Renown Health representative is available to talk about what to do if your child swallows something he or she should not.
• Dense breasts causing mammogram concerns – More women are learning from their physicians that they may have breasts too dense for mammograms to give a good picture. Women whose breast tissue is very dense have a greater risk of developing breast cancer than women whose breasts contain more fatty tissue. In addition, dense breast tissue makes spotting possible tumors on a mammogram more difficult. A Renown Health specialist can discuss other preventative measures and screenings women should take.
IMPORTANT HEALTH DATES/OBSERVANCES
• National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight. Nearly one third of America’s children are at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke. A pediatrician from Renown Health can discuss ways to prevent childhood obesity and keep children healthy.
• Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month – More than 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and approximately 15,000 women die annually from the disease. Ovarian Cancer is referred to as the silent killer because it usually is not discovered until its advanced stages. A gynecologist is available to talk about ways women can discover and effectively treat ovarian cancer early.
• Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – Prostate Cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America affecting 1 in 6 men. Renown Institute for Cancer offers patients PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) screenings, da Vinci Robotic Surgery and leading radiation treatment options including TomoTherapy. Low-cost health screenings are offered every Wednesday. A local doctor is available to speak about this screening and cancer treatment options.
Seniors who have urinary incontinence have been shown to have 3 times the risk of falls as compared to seniors without urinary incontinence. The connection between urinary incontinence and falls is surprising but studies do show that when you are able to care for your bladder issues you will have a less likely chance of dealing with falls. Falls in the elderly can lead to severe problems like hip fractures and in many cases hip surgery may be too hard to recover from and can lead to death.
There are close to 1.9 million emergency room visits each year due to senior falls. If managing your urinary incontinence problems will prevent or decrease your risk of senior falls, it is important to figure out how you can start taking control of these urinary issues. So why are senior falls and urinary incontinence linked in some way? Most of the studies indicate that there is an issue with falls when a senior is rushing to get to the bathroom. They may trip over furniture and even over their own feet in their rush to relieve their bladder before it starts to dribble. Not only are the bladder muscles to blame for incontinence they are also to blame for senior falls. Weak bladder muscles actually aid in controlling our balance and when they are not strong, they will lead to serious issues.
What can you do in order to prevent falls in the home? It helps to make the home into a safer environment by installing safety devices like railings and using a walker to help you get around. It is also important to keep the home clean and organized in order to prevent piles from getting in the way when you are walking around. Grab bars in the bathtub and next to the toilet will also be able to help prevent falls from occurring when you are rushing to get to the restroom.
Strengthening the pelvic core muscles will also aid in managing urinary incontinence along with helping to prevent falls from occurring. Studies done on women dealing with urinary incontinence and balance problems find that when a woman is able to strengthen her pelvic core muscles she will have a lower change of dealing with dribble throughout the day and her body will respond quickly if she does slip or trips over something.
Muscles do get weak but they can be strengthened and retrained at any age, allowing you to fix bladder control problems even if you have dealt with them in the past. Some seniors find relief when they start to exercise but they do notice they still have dribble when they laugh or get excited. This is completely normal and it helps to have some urinary incontinence products that can make living with urinary incontinence easier.
Some of the best exercises you can do in order to improve the pelvic core muscles include Kegel exercises. These exercises are commonly used during pregnancy to help prepare a woman’s body to give birth by making her lower region stronger. What you will focus on doing is squeezing the muscles that are used to stop the flow or urine. They are great for building muscle tone around your urethra and will aid in controlling the flow or urine when the bladder tries to release it.
Another exercise to do is to lie on your back with your knees at a 90 degree angle (feet flat on the floor) and to lift up your entire lower region and hold it tight for 10 seconds and release it back to the floor. Do this exercise daily to help strengthen your lower region as it will aid in providing you with stronger pelvic core muscles and preventing falls and problems with senior falls.
About the Author:
Dianna Malkowski is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic trained nutritionist specializing in diabetes, cancer, wound healing, therapeutic diets and nutrition support.
Visit the Care Giver Partnership for more info on Incontinence supplies
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